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There’s a reason that Sonny Rollins is the most acclaimed jazz musician alive: The legendary saxophonist has made some of the most seminal albums of his era but regards even those recordings as throwaways for luring audiences to his real work on the bandstand. True to his word, Rollins’ concerts are notorious for featuring things that either don’t work or can’t be appreciated on record: 90 minutes of dazzling variations on a single riff, serenades to fellow musicians, or the sheer spectacle of a 78-year-old sax man throwing his body into every note. (And that’s at the performances after which the perfectionist Rollins kicks himself for having an off night.) Fans who expect an evening of music that sounds like the Rollins they loved on Saxophone Colossus and The Bridge are inevitably stunned by the contrasting version that they see and hear onstage—but never disappointed. Rollins performs at 8 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $35-$75. (202) 467-4600.